Bill C-24, which was voted into law earlier this year, has resulted in widespread changes in the Citizenship Act. These changes are retroactive, and apply not only to naturalized citizens but also to their children, even if the children are Canadian born. These changes have resulted in a very real targeting of new Canadians and curtailments of their freedoms and rights.

As a direct result of Bill C-24, New Canadians are no longer free to move and live outside of Canada, and must declare and indefinitely demonstrate intent to live in Canada or risk having their citizenship revoked. While a natural born Canadian cannot have their citizenship revoked under any circumstances, naturalized citizens and their Canadian born children and grandchildren can – for a broad range of offences listed in Bill C-24 that are open to very loose interpretation by a single immigration official with no recourse to the judicial system.

The amendments the Bill has put forward have been presented as safeguarding Canada from terrorism. However, on a closer read it is apparent that it severely curtails the rights and liberties of the average law-abiding citizen. There is clear targeting of new Canadians and their descendants, who have been reduced to second-class citizens with fewer freedoms, rights and privileges than ‘old’ Canadians.

Most immigrants come to Canada to build a better future for themselves, and more importantly, for their children, but if the rights of new Canadians have already been limited through Bill C-24 and they and their children are under threat of losing their citizenship for any wrong step they take knowingly or unknowingly, then this is not really a better and brighter future. Is it?

Read in more detail why you should be worried about Bill C-24, and what you can do about it.

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